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RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is a virus that infects the lungs and airways (breathing passages). RSV can affect anyone of any age, but it’s most common in infants and young children. In fact, it’s so common that almost all children have been infected with RSV by the age of three.
RSV is usually a mild disease that goes away on its own. In very young children RSV can sometimes lead to serious infections like pneumonia or bronchiolitis (a swelling of the bronchioles — the smallest air passages of the lungs).
RSV usually happens in outbreaks starting in late fall through early spring. Outbreaks usually peak during the winter months.
In most children, RSV usually causes symptoms similar to the common cold:
In most cases, RSV infection will go away on its own, without any special treatment.
There are many things you can do at home to help a child with a mild case of RSV feel better:
Children in day-care centres and preschools are at greatest risk for RSV. Infants are at greater risk if they have an older brother or sister in school.
Can my child get RSV again?
Will RSV weaken my child’s lungs and make them more prone to pneumonia in the future?
Can RSK be serious?